…tends to display itself in two ways, and I think it’s best you know about them sooner rather than later.
First, if people talk about something they think is edgy and important, and go out of their way to say that they’re totally ok with it and that everyone else should be totally ok with it and can you believe some people think this is edgy I can’t believe some people might be bothered by this and OMG I’m so fine with it… My perverse nature kicks in and I start imagining that they’re only pretending they’re ok with it, even if I know they aren’t pretending. I can’t help it. Oft quoted (and oft misquoted) lines from Shakespeare start creeping into my head, and it’s usually all I can do to keep myself from saying outloud, “The lady (or gentleman) doth protest too much, methinks.” Which usually gets completely misunderstood and then people start trying harder to convince me that I should be ok with it, or go silent as they wonder which side of the debate I’m on, anyway, and isn’t that backwards from the way Shakespeare wrote it? Is she just mixed up or did she mis-learn it?… And I silently beat my perverse nature’s head against a perverse wall and vow to keep my mouth shut the next time, which never seems to work.
The other most common way for that ugly and much-beaten-against-walls head to rear itself is when I’m sitting in a room with another person who’s reading, and that person giggles and says, “Oh, that’s funny” or gasps and says “wow, that’s interesting” and then continues reading without going on to explain what’s funny or interesting. All of a sudden, the last thing I want to do is ask what’s funny or interesting even though that’s exactly what the other person wants and expects me to do. Now, I really do want to know what’s funny or interesting. That’s not the issue. The issue is that they shouldn’t force me to ask. So depending on whether or not I think the other person should know about my perverse nature, I might force myself to ask through gritted teeth, “what’s so funny?” But I won’t want to.